I am Head of Bristol Renal, a world-renowned group researching glomerular disease. We are a blend of independent Principal Investigators leading programmes of research integrated under a single theme. This is a mix of adult and paediatric nephrologists, senior non-clinical scientists, and all levels of researchers. We have a unique strength in the integration of basic science expertise with internationally recognised patient cohorts with cutting edge biomarker and genetic analyses. My laboratory programme is based on the human glomerular podocyte, the key cell type in the glomerulus, which we have generated the gold standard in vitro model system, and which is internationally in demand.
Areas of interest
Using experimental systems my laboratory has developed, we have made several novel discoveries on the biological properties of podocytes, including the identification of insulin sensitivity[1-3], and the underlying mechanisms, and the concept of exploring circulating factors in Steroid resistant nephrotic syndromes (SRNS). SRNS has become one of our major focuses, including detailed cell signaling and functional experiments, as well as genetic testing in patient cohorts.
Other areas of active research interest include the glomerular biology of haemolytic syndrome, and the biology and therapy of monogenic disorders in podocytes.
We have set up a National UK Registry of Renal Rare Disease (www.renalradar.org), and initiated a cohort of patients with SRNS. This collects ongoing, granular clinical data on all children with Nephrotic Syndrome in the UK, as well as DNA for genetic analysis. We now intend to discover the extent of genetic variation in this cohort over their whole genome, and map this to detailed disease manifestations (e.g. response to medicines), for clinical use.
I continue to be a lead in UK renal rare disease strategy, sitting on the Rare Disease Committee, and the RADAR operational management board, as well as chairing the SRNS Working Group. I also have momentum to extend the SRNS group internationally, including a British Council tripartite UK/US/India grant, received to set up a collaborative SRNS Registry
Nationally I am Chair of the Renal Association Research Committee, and recent Chair of the Paediatric Nephrology national Clinical Studies Group (CSG).
I am Unit Lead for the COMP1 4th year medical student undergraduate programme, and also teach and organise on the 2nd year renal module.
View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system
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